The Glengarry News
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Library employee tests positive

publisher Feb 10, 2021 - 8:09am

The Winchester branch of the SDG Library is to reopen today following a one-day closure after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

Sanitization and contact tracing procedures have been implemented according to Eastern Ontario Health Unit protocols.

“We are following guidelines prescribed to us by our own internal health and safety framework, as well as the protocols outlined by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit,” said Karen Franklin, director of library services. “At this time we are confident that this is an isolated case with an extremely low risk to the community at large.”

 

Lockdown continues until Feb. 16

publisher Feb 8, 2021 - 2:04pm

The Ontario government has loosened restrictions on many businesses while maintaining a shutdown in most of the province until February 16  as it strives to contain COVID-19. While it maintained most existing restrictions Monday, the government is enabling many retailers to reopen while limiting capacity to 25 per cent in most retail businesses.

There will be a 50 per cent capacity limit for supermarkets, stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores and pharmacies.

The Stay-at-Home order will continue to apply to most of the province 28 until February 16, when most areas, including the region served by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit is expected to return to the provincial COVID-19 response framework “and no longer be subject to the shutdown and stay-at-home orders.”

The government added, “These dates may change depending on the trends in local public health indicators.”

As local trends of key public health indicators improve, regions will be gradually transitioned back into this framework, with some new and modified measures in place.

Details were provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, and Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

“Our number one priority will always be protecting the health and safety of all individuals, families and workers across the province,” said Premier Ford. “But we must also consider the severe impact COVID-19 is having on our businesses. That's why we have been listening to business owners, and we are strengthening and adjusting the Framework to allow more businesses to safely reopen and get people back to work.”

Face covering and gathering limits requirements also remain in effect, however, the declaration of “emergency” will expire.

“While we have seen some progress in our fight against COVID-19, the situation in our hospitals remains precarious and the new variants pose a considerable threat to all of us,” said Minister Elliott. “As we cautiously and gradually transition out of the provincewide shutdown, we have developed an emergency brake system giving us the flexibility to contain community spread quickly in a specific region, providing an extra layer of protection.”

Recognizing the risk posed by new variants to the province's pandemic response, Ontario is introducing an “emergency brake” to allow for immediate action if a public health unit region experiences rapid acceleration in COVID-19 transmission or if its health care system risks becoming overwhelmed.

If this occurs, the Chief Medical Officer of Health, in consultation with the local medical officer of health, may advise immediately moving a region into Grey-Lockdown to interrupt transmission. “While we are seeing our numbers trend in the right direction, our situation remains precarious as the variants of concern remain a serious risk,” said Dr. Williams. “This is not a re-opening or a 'return to normal' and we must continue to limit close contact to our immediate households and stay at home except for essential reasons. By continuing to follow all public health and workplace safety measures, we can continue to reduce the number of new cases and the strain on our health system.”

“While the declaration of emergency will be ending, the risks posed by COVID-19 and the new variants remain serious concerns,” said Solicitor General Jones. “That's why extending the stay-at-home orders for most of the province is necessary to protect our communities, our most vulnerable populations, and stop the spread of COVID-19. We continue to urge all Ontarians to follow public health guidelines and stay home, stay safe, and save lives.”

Municipalities and local medical officers of health may have additional restrictions or targeted requirements in their region. Provincewide shutdown measures went into effect December 26. The government declared its second provincial emergency on January 12, 2021 and issued a Stay-at-Home order to reduce mobility and address hospital capacity concerns.

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2 snowmobiles stolen

publisher Feb 5, 2021 - 3:38pm

Stormont Dundas & Glengarry Ontario Provincial Police officers are investigating the theft of two snowmobiles from Murray Motor Sports on Main Street in Alexandria on the night of February 3-4.

One of the 2020 Polaris Switchback Assault snowmobiles taken is grey and orange with Ontario plate 8AS686 and the other is red with plate 6AN989.

If you have any information about the theft call SD&G OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Seaway Valley Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477) or you can submit a TIP online at www.seawayvalleycrimestoppers.ca

'Reopen businesses'

publisher Feb 5, 2021 - 11:41am

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has launched a petition urging the Ontario government to permit small businesses to reopen with at least a 20 per cent capacity limit.

“Keeping small businesses across the province in lockdown is crushing our local economies,” says the CFIB, whose petition can be found at  http://promo.cfib-fcei.ca/saveontario

“Continuing to keep our stores, our gyms, our salons and countless other businesses closed means thousands will not survive. Business owners and their families will lose their futures and many will lose their homes. Employees will lose their livelihoods. Our communities will lose their rich diversity,” says the federation. The petition states: “We must move beyond the “all or nothing” lockdown approach that is leaving our local economies behind. Ontarians need jobs to come back to when this is all over! Let’s show the Ontario Spirit and save our local businesses!”

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Slow going

publisher Feb 3, 2021 - 8:26am

It is slow going on the roads and sidewalks today.

This cyclist managed to proceed along Main Street, Alexandria this morning, although it did take some effort.

Snow accumulation varies across the district, with the southern area getting more snowfall than the region north of Highway 417.

School bus transportation is cancelled today throughout the region for all schools.

Snowmobile goes through ice

publisher Feb 1, 2021 - 8:53am

Police are seeking the public's help after a snowmobile was seen going through the ice on the St. Lawrence River in the Bainsville area near Saint Anicet January 30 shortly after 9 p.m.

Officers were unable to find the driver.

The SD&G OPP detachment wants to speak to anyone who may have observed the snowmobile out on the ice, anyone who was on the ice and has returned home safely or has someone from their household that is overdue from returning.

Call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

 

Encouraging trend, words of caution

publisher Jan 29, 2021 - 3:43pm

With students preparing to return to classes next week, the number of total active COVID-19 cases in the region served by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit stands at 410 as of January 29, a decrease of six from January 28.

The number of active cases in Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry has increased by four to 111, while the number in Cornwall has dropped by one to 160; in Prescott-Russell the total has dipped by two to 121 and in the northern part of Akwesasne, the number of active cases has dropped by seven to 18. There are 26 active cases in South Glengarry and 19 in North Glengarry.

Overall, in Eastern Ontario, 24 patients are hospitalized; six are in intensive care. The number of deaths stands at 52; there are 18 outbreaks in long-term care facilities.

Meanwhile, as “Ontarians are on their way to successfully flattening the curve by the continued adherence to the province's public health measures,” the Ontario Hospital Association cautions, “We are not in the clear yet.”

Unfortunately, a new and highly contagious variant of COVID-19, B. 1. 1. 7, is now circulating in Ontario, putting the province's critical care capacity at risk once again. “The rate at which this variant rapidly spread throughout Roberta Place in Barrie shows the devastating and unforgiving toll that this variant can take,” warns the OHA. “At this stage of the pandemic, with health care workers exhausted and minimal surge capacity left in the system, we must not lose our focus. Almost 25 per cent of intensive care unit (ICU) beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients, and more than half of ICUs across the province are full or have only one or two beds left,” says OHA President and CEO Anthony Dale. “The steps taken in recent weeks have not been easy, but they have been essential to protecting the province's finite health system capacity.”

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In-person classes resume Monday

publisher Jan 28, 2021 - 11:40am

As of Monday, February 1, in-person learning can resume in the region served by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit. Students attending schools administered by the Upper Canada District School Board, the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario, Le Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario and Le Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l'Est ontarien will now be able to return to classrooms. The government agrees with the growing consensus in the medical community that returning students to in-person learning is essential to the wellbeing, development and mental health of children. According to leading medical and scientific experts, including Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, schools are safe places for learning.

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2 hurt in snowmobile accident

publisher Jan 25, 2021 - 8:10am

The Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry Ontario Provincial Police detachment is investigating a snowmobile accident that left two people injured when the sled they were riding collided with a passenger vehicle on County Road 43 in Alexandria Sunday shortly before 3 p.m. The 20-year-old man driving the snowmobile was transported to hospital with critical injuries. The female passenger, also 20), was transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the passenger vehicle was uninjured.

What you can do

publisher Jan 16, 2021 - 10:47am

What you can do

The Ontario government has a list of permitted activities during the latest COVIID-19 lockdown.

Every individual shall remain in their place of residence at all times unless leaving their place of residence is necessary for one or more of the following purposes:

Work, school and child care

1. Working or volunteering where the nature of the work or volunteering requires the individual to leave their residence, including when the individual’s employer has determined that the nature of the individual’s work requires attendance at the workplace.

2. Attending school or a post-secondary institution.

3. Attending, obtaining or providing child care.

4. Receiving or providing training or educational services.

Obtaining goods and services

5. Obtaining food, beverages and personal care items.

6. Obtaining goods or services that are necessary for the health or safety of an individual, including health care services and medications.

7. Obtaining goods, obtaining services, or performing such activities as are necessary for the safe operation, maintenance and sanitation of households, businesses, means of transportation or other places.

8. Purchasing or picking up goods through an alternative method of sale, such as curbside pickup, from a business or place that is permitted to provide curbside pickup under the Stage 1 Order.

9. Attending an appointment at a business or place that is permitted to be open by appointment under the Stage 1 Order.

10. Obtaining services from a financial institution or cheque cashing service.

11. Obtaining government services, social services and supports, mental health support services or addictions support services.

Assisting others

12. Delivering goods or providing care or other support or assistance to an individual who requires support or assistance, or receiving such support or assistance, including,

i. providing care for an individual in a congregate care setting, and

ii. accompanying an individual who requires assistance leaving their residence for any purpose permitted under this Order.

13. Taking a child to the child’s parent or guardian or to the parent or guardian’s residence.

14. Taking a member of the individual’s household to any place the member of the household is permitted to go under this Order.

Health, safety and legal purposes

15. Doing anything that is necessary to respond to or avoid an imminent risk to the health or safety of an individual, including,

i. protecting oneself or others from domestic violence,

ii. leaving or assisting someone in leaving unsafe living conditions, and

iii. seeking emergency assistance.

16. Exercising, including,

i. walking or moving around outdoors using an assistive mobility device, or

ii. using an outdoor recreational amenity that is permitted to be open under the Stage 1 Order.

17. Attending a place as required by law or in relation to the administration of justice.

18. Exercising an Aboriginal or treaty right as recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Multiple residences and moving

19. Travelling to another residence of the individual if,

i. the individual intends to be at the residence for less than 24 hours and is attending for one of the purposes set out in this order; or

ii. the individual intends to reside at the residence for at least 14 days.

20. Travelling between the homes of parents, guardians or caregivers, if the individual is under their care.

21. Making arrangements to purchase or sell a residence or to begin or end a residential lease.

22. Moving residences.

Travel

23. Travelling to an airport, bus station or train station for the purpose of travelling to a destination that is outside of the Province.

Gatherings

24. Attending a gathering for the purpose of a wedding, a funeral or a religious service, rite or ceremony that is permitted under the Stage 1 Order or making necessary arrangements for the purpose of such a gathering.

25. If the individual lives alone, gathering with the members of a single household.

Animals

26. Obtaining goods or services that are necessary for the health or safety of an animal, including obtaining veterinary services.

27. Obtaining animal food or supplies.

28. Doing anything that is necessary to respond to or avoid an imminent risk to the health or safety of an animal, including protecting an animal from suffering abuse.

29. Walking or otherwise exercising an animal.

(2) Despite subsection (1), no person shall attend a business or place that is required to be closed under the Stage 1 Order, except to the extent that temporary access to the closed business or place is permitted under subsection 1 (6) of Schedule 1 to the Stage 1 Order.

(3) This Order does not apply to individuals who are homeless.

(4) If this Order allows an individual to leave their residence to go to a place, it also authorizes them to return to their residence from that place.

(5) The requirement in subsection (1) to remain at an individual’s place of residence does not prevent the individual from accessing outdoor parts of their place of residence, such as a backyard, or accessing indoor or outdoor common areas of the communal residences in which they reside that are open, including lobbies.

(6) For greater certainty, nothing in this Order permits a business or place to be open if it is required to be closed under the Stage 1 Order.

(7) For greater certainty, nothing in this Order permits an individual to gather with other individuals if the gathering is not permitted under the Stage 1 Order.

(8) For greater certainty, individuals may only attend an outdoor organized public event or social gathering that is permitted under the Stage 1 Order for a purpose set out in subsection (1).

 

6 deaths at Lancaster LTC

publisher Jan 15, 2021 - 9:19am

The Red Cross will arrive Monday at the Lancaster Long-Term Care facility, where six residents have died due to COVID-19, 34 other residents along with ten staff members have contracted the disease. The affected staff members are self-isolating at home, executive director Nicole Gurnsey said in a memo issued Thursday. Residents remain isolated to their rooms, are receiving in-room meal service, and are on contact droplet precautions, she added. “We had the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Labour here on Monday,  and they were very pleased with the infection prevention and control measures that we have in place, and the home did not receive any further direction from them,” the executive director said.

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